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Friday, 24 October 2014

Slovenia, where are you heading?

Speaker of the Slovenian National Assembly, Dr Milan Brglez, recently gave a comprehensive interview in Mladina in which he outlined the direction the current government will pursue during its mandate. While the interview presents him as a sensible scholar who carefully weighs his ideas and genuinely cares about the future of Slovenia, he makes several references that seem quite radical.

The parts of the interview that particularly stand out include:

  • Sympathizing with the United Left (Združena levica), an extreme left party that surprisingly won six seats in the last elections, even though Dr Brglez makes it clear that their ideas, especially their call for a revolution, might be unrealistic at this point in time;
  • Suggestion that children in primary school should start learning 'Serbo-Croatian'. The so-called 'Serbo-Croatian' language ceased to exist a long time ago, being replaced by Serbian,  Croatian and Bosnian. The question of Slovenians being forced to speak the above languages in their communications with the former Yugoslav government was always a sore political issue. Is this yet another indication that revival of Yugoslavia is again on agenda?
  • Suggestion that following the Swiss model of governance the Slovenian government of the future should be run by less than seven persons. In the last local elections, Slovenia with the population of two million people elected mayors to 212 local councils. The current government has fourteen plus two ministries. While the Slovenian administration currently appears overweight, the government of less than seven key persons is such a radical departure from the current situation that it may put already weak democracy in Slovenia under the question mark;
  • Dr Brglez makes not one but two references to Slavoj Žižek, probably the most successful Slovenian intellectual export to the West. In his own words, Žižek is a communist, a radical leftist and an admirer of Josef Stalin. To learn more about Slavoj Žižek please watch the video below (in English).


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